Carter v Aulds Bakeries Ltd: jailed employee wins unfair dismissal claim

Carter v Aulds Bakeries Ltd: jailed employee wins unfair dismissal claim

The Employment Tribunal (ET) has recently ruled in favour of an employee who missed work for months because he was in prison.

The background: 

The Employment Tribunal (ET) has recently ruled in favour of an employee who missed work for months because he was in prison.

Mr Carter, the claimant in Carter v Aulds Bakeries Ltd, worked as a packer at Aulds Bakery.

Due to an incident that happened outside of the workplace, he received a prison sentence.

He didn’t make contact with his employer until his release two months later.

Mr Carter’s employer immediately dismissed him for unauthorised absence. He brought a claim against his employer for unfair dismissal.

The decision

The ET found he was unfairly dismissed because of a failure by his employer to follow a procedure.

But Mr Carter received nothing when his award was reduced by 100% due to the fact he contributed to his own dismissal. He appealed this decision.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) accepted the appeal. It found that the ET hadn’t given a sufficient reason to justify the 100% deduction of Mr Carter’s award, nor for its decision not to order reinstatement.

The EAT instead reduced Mr Carter's award by 75%, and he received £650.

What this means for you

It’s more than likely that this dismissal would’ve been a fair one in the first place had Mr Carter’s employer followed a disciplinary process, rather than dismissing him 'on the spot'.

This case highlights the importance of not making knee-jerk reactions to events, and having a comprehensive disciplinary process to follow.

Need advice? Get in touch today

Please call Nicola Robson on 01482 324252.

Or email Nicola here.

You can find out more about our Employment Law services here.

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